Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Mother of One
Partner Adam - Died suddenly from complications from the flu at 42 years old.
“I will not go down with this ship” and “f*ck you life"were (and sometimes still are) the two thoughts on repeat in my head. Hah. The first year of my widowhood was marked by many many tears, absolute fatigue, gratitude for the community that rallied around me, anger, guilt and a generous dose of defiance. All these parts of my well-packed grief suitcase were a lot to carry for sure, but one of the things that surprised me the most was the anger.
I wanted to punch some of the people at the funeral who were pitying my lot, I threw sympathy cards across the room at the banquet filled with dying flowers and other well intentioned sympathy cards. I was angry at people who suggested my then 5 year old daughter didn’t get it - that she was too young to understand her loss. I was angry at dads picking their kids up from school, I was angry at myself for letting a man die on my watch (the "what if" scenarios played like a broken record in my mind). I was angry. I was angry, then sad, then angry, then sad. A lot.
One of my amazing resources was Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre.
ABOUT EMILY D for CHANGE
EmilyD4Change celebrates people's stories and provides a window for people to share their personal experiences. It's about the unsung heroes who are left behind, the caregivers, the support people.
As a photographer Emily has had the honour of photographing key life stages - the joy of birth and the anguish of a persons final hours. Her understanding of the depths of love and the pain of loss expanded after those experiences. Instead of focusing only on what was lost, Emily learned that in many cases the people left behind want to focus on what was and what was gained from loving.
EmilyD4Change invites people to share their stories of love and love lost. Through stories and images, EmilyD4Change brings seemingly ordinary people forward to showcase how extraordinary they are, bravely facing loss and demonstrating the strength and remarkability of the human spirit. Each story is unedited and shared based on what the survivor wants you, the reader, to know.
by Emily Doukogiannis
Emily Doukogiannis is a Toronto-based portrait photographer, expert storyteller and compulsive photo book maker. Her commitment to telling people's stories is something Emily does in her spare time via Emily D 4 Change and countless media outlets.
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